THE Co-ordinating Unit of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), recently hosted the 12th meeting of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Co-ordination and Harmonisation Council (CDM CHC), funded by the Targeted Support to CDEMA Project. Nine regional institutions, seven development partners and representatives for two sub regional focal points came together virtually to further the CDM/ Resilience conversation in the Caribbean.
Executive Director of CDEMA Elizabeth Riley, said that the first meeting of the CDM CHC was hosted in 2007, to transform the implementation of CDM to a multi-stakeholder process, a release from CDEMA states.
“We as partners had recognised through the consultative CDM process, that building resilience required the mainstreaming of CDM at the sector level, the definition of CDM spaces for technical agencies and the institutionalisation of CDM within the agenda of development partners. Simply put, we are here because resilience building through the CDM continues to be a multi-stakeholder agenda.”
Riley explained that the agency has seen several changes over the years including the expansion of Participating States and the expansion of sectors focused on resilience including the private sector, energy and water. The phases of the disaster management cycle, under CDM, have also been expanded and CDEMA continues to work with the United Nations Development Programme; Global Affairs Canada; and the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to operationalize a Caribbean Resilient Recovery Facility.
However, the global climate change projections and difficult fiscal situation exacerbated by COVID-19 highlight importance of adjusting the CDM CHC model, to move to the forward with resilience. The two-day meeting was a starting point to improving the regional capacity of the council.
The CDM CHC is an integral organ to strengthen regional capacity by advancing disaster loss reduction, comprising development partners, sector leaders, participating states and the private sector. Among its key responsibilities, CDM CHC will contribute to the implementation of CDM, provide guidance for CDM knowledge sharing and support the achievements of the 2014-2024 CDM Strategy.
Since 2007, CDM has been further integrated into CDEMA’s work and strategies across the region, with the most notable achievement being the establishment of the CDM Governance Mechanism.